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April 30, 2006

Limbaugh and the Conservative Strawman

Rightwingsparkle shakes her head at the Rush-bashing coming from the leftside of the blogsphere in regards to his recent plea agreement on his prescription drug addiction. She states

For some reason, because Rush is conservative, he is held to a completely different standard by the msm and the left. It's like they expect conservatives to be perfect if they are going espouse a more moral society.
I haven't listened to Rush in years (I'm usually at work or I listen to Dennis Prager, who is on at the same time in Los Angeles area, and has a much better show) so I really have no clue how much actual "drug-user bashing" Rush has done.

But any non-leftist IS held to a much higher standard -- which I would describe as the Conservative Strawman Standard. Left cultists make up what they believe is "conservative values" and then hold individuals to it whether or not that particular individual actually espouses that value. Left cultists also make it a zero-sum game. Anything less than "moral perfection" by non-leftists forever makes them "hypocrites" and forever banned from weighing in on that particular subject.

It is really a variation on the pernicious "Chickenhawk" meme.

It has nothing to do with debate or argument in the arena of ideas, values or policies. It is merely a dishonest, rhetorical cudgel attempting to shut up and shut down those people one disagrees with, but cannot effectively debate.

It's the playground equivalent of the snotty kid who demands to be pitcher and if he doesn't get his way he's taking the bat and ball home.

Dennis Prager on hypocrisy

Can you think of one prominent liberal ever labeled a hypocrite in the mainstream press? President Bill Clinton was labeled many things for his extramarital affairs and his lying, but never a hypocrite. But when the press discovers flawed behavior in the personal life of a prominent conservative, he is discredited as a hypocrite.

Why is this? Because you can only be a hypocrite if you violate standards that you promote or judge, and liberals rarely promote or judge personal behavior. Their moral preoccupations almost exclusively concern social positions. Liberals judge people by their positions on global warming, not by how they behave.

There are a lot of worse things to be accused of than being a hypocrite -- to avoid such a charge, one has to profess having no personal standards at all.


Posted by Darleen at 09:37 AM | Comments (40)

April 29, 2006

The Great American Pro-Illegal Alien Boycott Hatefest

I'll be at work Monday. I plan on doing my weekly grocery shopping on Monday. I will plan on doing other consumer spending Monday.

Friday I visited my local Party City and Michael's Craftstore and picked up patriotic bunting, streamers, beads, stars, etc. and we decorated our office, including bunting across the receptionist window that will be visible to the public visiting our courthouse Monday.

One of my friend's mother is from Peru and my friend said she can't have a discussion of the pro-illegal alien events without her mom becoming very upset against what she sees as the ultimate in rude, selfish and criminal actions by illegals. She came to this country legally over 30 years ago, having to wait five years, having to prove she had substantial cash in a bank account, then having to take citizenship classes (history, English, etc) before taking her citizenship test.

There are many, many Americans of Hispanic ancestry that are appalled at this ilk that demands to exempted from the laws of the United States.

Show what side of this YOU are on Monday, by spending money and flying our nation's colors.

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Posted by Darleen at 04:02 PM | Comments (12)

A difference with little distinction

Here's a mindboggling article about the alleged "rift" between al Qaeda and other Islamist groups.

The widening rift largely has not been acknowledged among Western powers, who tend to lump Islamic radicals together. The U.S. list of "Foreign Terrorist Organizations," for example, puts al-Qaida with Hamas and the Lebanese-based Hezbollah.

Scholars of Islamic movements and some Western policy-makers, however, say distinctions now must be made between hard-line Islamist organizations and "holy warrior" groups such as Osama bin Laden's terror network.

"There is a fundamental difference between Islamic groups: Most are sociopolitical reformists, others are religious extremists," said Dia'a Rashwan, an Egyptian expert on radical groups.

Hamas and Hezbollah, for example, have national agendas, he said. They want to reorganize society according to Sharia, or Islamic law.

Extremist religious movements such as al-Qaida are international revolutionaries who excoriate not only non-Muslims but also Muslims who fail to follow their views. Theirs is a holy war to spread their views among Muslims and to repel any "infidel invasion" of Islamic lands.

"Branding these two branches of radicalism the same way, as terrorist organizations, reflects a complete misunderstanding of the issue," he said.

So, Hamas which states by its own Covenant that any land at any time in the world that has once been 'moslem' land is forever 'moslem' land is materially different than al Qaeda, et al, that are working to defeat dar ul Harb (non-moslem world) and establish dar ul Islam (Islamist society) worldwide?

Oh, JAYSUS on a Pony, the Crips and the Bloods may have a "rift" between them, too, but that doesn't mean they aren't both dangerous scum and they wouldn't join forces to bring down The Man.

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Posted by Darleen at 03:44 PM | Comments (1)

April 28, 2006

Don't get mad...

... get vouchers. Boston

Two families filed a lawsuit on Thursday against a Massachusetts town and its public school system after a teacher read a gay-themed fairy tale to children without notifying them first.

The suit against Lexington, about 12 miles west of Boston, seeks unspecified damages after the book "King & King" was read to a classroom of about 20 mostly 7 years olds. It is believed the first of its kind, the families' lawyers said. [...]

It also charges that Lexington broke a 1996 Massachusetts law requiring that parents be notified of sex-education lessons. It names Lexington Superintendent of Schools Paul Ash and several other school and town officials.

Ash said the school was under no legal obligation to inform parents the book would be read. "This school district is committed to a welcoming environment for all kids. We embrace the diverse nature of the community," he told Reuters.

"King & King" tells the story of a crown prince who rejects a bevy of beautiful princesses, rebuffing each suitor until falling in love with a prince. The two marry, sealing the union with a kiss, and live happily ever after.

Ash has said reading the book was not intended as sex education but as a way to educate children about the world in which they live, especially in Massachusetts, the only U.S. state where gays and lesbians can legally wed.

Why, yes. Fairy Tales are used all the time to "educate" about "the world we live in."

From Snow White we learn that step-parents are out to kill you if you're prettier than them and living with a group of strange men is rewarding if you can cook and clean.

From Cinderella we again learn about evil step-parents added with evil step-siblings who only married into the family to get the money and enslave you. Never fear though, a fairy godparent can rescue you and you can have birds peck out the eyes of your foes.

From Goldilocks we learn that Breaking & Entering is ok as long as it isn't the home of "real" people.

From The Little Mermaid we learn its foolish ever to try and be anything different then our class.

Hansel and Gretel is about attempted post-birth abortion and cannibalism.

Why yes, fairy tales do educate about "real life" and who do such foolish parents think they are to ever have any say in what a clearly superior teacher reads in class to seven year olds?

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Posted by Darleen at 06:10 AM | Comments (8)

April 27, 2006


I'm too stunned with horror to react

Ayn Rand's most ambitious novel may finally be brought to the bigscreen after years of false starts.

Lionsgate has picked up worldwide distribution rights to "Atlas Shrugged" from Howard and Karen Baldwin ("Ray"), who will produce with John Aglialoro.

As for stars, book provides an ideal role for an actress in lead character Dagny Taggart, so it's not a stretch to assume Rand enthusiast Angelina Jolie's name has been brought up. Brad Pitt, also a fan, is rumored to be among the names suggested for lead male character John Galt.

What? Antonio Banderas as Francisco?


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Posted by Darleen at 10:58 PM | Comments (3)

United 93 - not soon enough

On April 25 at the Tribeca Film festival, United 93 premiered.

I find it surprising that such a film is, in any way, controversial. As intense and emotionally wrenching the trailers, I was taken aback by the almost hysterical claims of "Too soon!"

Today, the father of Todd Beamer, David Beamer, writes a powerful answer to the Too Soon (aka "how about NEVER") Crowd

Paul Greengrass and Universal set out to tell the story of United Flight 93 on that terrible day in our nation's history. They set about the task of telling this story with a genuine intent to get it right--the actions of those on board and honor their memory. Their extensive research included reaching out to all the families who had lost loved ones on United Flight 93 as the first casualties of this war. And Paul and his team got it right.
My great appreciation to the British Greengrass and I sincerely hope this embarrasses American directors in a deep and burning way.
Often we attend movies to escape reality and fantasize a bit. In this case and at this time, it is appropriate to get a dose of reality about this war and the real enemy we face. It is not too soon for this story to be told, seen and heard. But it is too soon for us to become complacent. It is too soon for us to think of this war in only national terms. We need to be mindful that this enemy, who made those holes in our landscape and caused the deaths of some 3,000 of our fellow free people, has a vision to personally kill or convert each and every one of us. This film reminds us that this war is personal. This enemy is on a fanatical mission to take away our lives and liberty--the liberty that has been secured for us by those whose names are on those walls in Battery Park and so many other walls and stones throughout this nation. This enemy seeks to take away the free will that our Creator has endowed in us. Patrick Henry got it right some 231 years ago. Living without liberty is not living at all.
As was clearly demonstrated in the comments of my simple question post, some people's moral compass is so thoroughly broken, or ideologically corrupted, they cannot even bring themselves to declare the enemy that murdered Todd Beamer and the rest of 9/11/01 as evil.

More Americans died in two hours on 9/11/01 then have died directly fighting the same ideological enemies in Iraq. Frustrated, these Islamists are murdering civilians, and in places like Tel Aviv and tourist resorts in Egypt. Jordan and Lebanon are discovering further plots against them, too, for not toeing the radical Islamist way.

To not confront this fascism with "religious" face is to be left with only three choices ...

Convert, submit or die.

I will see the movie and I hope you do, too.

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Posted by Darleen at 12:27 PM | Comments (2)

April 26, 2006

The art of gratitude

You know the one about the proverbial 2x4 and the jackasses?

Well, the next time, out comes the flamethrowers because some jackasses didn't even blink.

Let me back up a bit and ask you ... ever had a friend or co-worker who never seems to pick up the check at lunch? You know, the one who fumbles in their pocket or purse and discovers they "forgot" their wallet or they're "just a little short this week" but profusely promises to "pick up the check next time"? ...

...and never does?

You forgive it or make an excuse for it the first, or second time. Or more. Until you realize that maybe, just maybe, you're being taken for granted?

Which brings me back to today and Administrative Assistant's Day.

I've worked at my DA office for close to eight years now and, for most of it, the clerical and attorney staffs work together closely AND treat each other to luncheons at various times of the year. Such small gestures of mutual respect and appreciation go a long way to promoting morale and a happy work environment.

But it looks like that has officially ended at my office.

It wasn't that someone "forgot" to organize a luncheon for Administrative Assistants Day. Certainly the other DA offices within the county had organized theirs and the supervisors of each office talk with each other regularly.

We were ignored. Even as we decided to bring in our own "goodies" and park them under a sign that said "Clerk Self-Appreciation Day". It was amazing to watch attorneys catch sight of that sign and ::::whoosh:::: it sail right by.

As I said above, once can be forgiven as just inadvertent thoughtlessness. But in one of the most cheap-assed, lame-brained moves I've ever witnessed, just this last Christmas the clerical staff organized our luncheon to which we treat the attorneys after clearing the date NOT to conflict with their luncheon to which they treat us. We went all out, decorating the lunch room, tables groaning with food to feed an army. The attorneys brought their appetites ...

And then cancelled the luncheon they were organizing for us. "Why have two Christmas luncheons?" was the line spun.

Individually, there are many attorneys I love working with. People who are not reluctant to say "thank you" when they see you go above and beyond. But the general attitude fostered on how the clerical staff is viewed is a top-down affair. And for some, no matter of the rough patches we went through when we were short-staffed and some of us were doing the work of two or three desks, we really are not much more than office furniture. Our suggestions are ignored and we are ignored. Even though many of us hold college degrees, we don't have the holy JD and barcard.

Ain't it grand?

Posted by Darleen at 06:12 PM | Comments (2)

April 24, 2006

But for heaven's sake, don't call them EVIL!

Terrorists militants dissidents in Egypt

CAIRO, Egypt - Three explosions rocked the Egyptian resort city of Dahab at the height of the tourist season Monday, killing at least 18 people and wounding more than 150 at just one hotel, according to the doctor in charge of the Sinai peninsula rescue squad.

Police said the explosions hit the central part of the city where there are many shops, restaurants, bars and guesthouses. The blasts ripped through the town shortly after nightfall when the streets would have been jammed with tourists, mainly with Europeans, Israelis and expatriates living in Egypt.

Because of the Coptic Easter holiday, the resort town is crowded with tourists.

"There were body parts and debris in the street. ... There are ambulances and cars taking people to hospital," one witness, who refused to be identified, told Reuters news service. [...]

Israeli ambulance services, meanwhile, were beefing up their presence on the border with Egypt, and a hospital in Eilat was getting extra blood supplies, officials said. Israeli medical services have offered help to Egypt, saying they have 20 ambulances ready to go to the peninsula, but said no answer has been received from Egyptian medics.

USA Today
The Egyptian government has said the militants who carried out the bombings were locals without international connections, but other security agencies have said they suspect al-Qaeda.

This is high tourist season in the region, and hotels all along the Egyptian coasts could be expected to be at near capacity, mainly with Europeans, Israelis and expatriates living in Egypt.

First things first. We must find out what they want after admitting it is all Bu$Hitler's fault.

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Posted by Darleen at 01:22 PM | Comments (4)

'Mainstream' Media as self-anointed 4th branch of Government

Legacy Media has increasingly grown desperate over the last decade as newspaper subscription has dropped and "alternative" channels of information (ie the Internet, radio) has increased in popularity. They have usually been coy in much of their partisanship, fluttering eyelashes like a shocked Scarlett O'Hara when their Leftwing petticoat slips down.

Anyone with a passing acquaintance with more than a few of the bigger stories of the last five years understands how the framing of the narrative by the MSM has become a wrestling match with the uppity citizen journalists that fact-check stories that just don't pass the smell test. From the Dan Rather Fake Memo debacle to Christmas-in-Cambodia, the power of networking tens of thousands of individuals with their own specialties in close to realtime has helped wrest from the MSM the complacency and hubris they have long indulged in with their almost monopolistic position as "information gatekeepers."

One would have hoped that the MSM just might have learned a lesson and abandoned the advocacy journalism that has been the underlying raison d'etre of "reporting" since Vietnam. One would hope old-fashioned the facts, ma'm, just the facts might once again take priority.

Greg Mitchell disabuses us of that silly notion.

you have watched any baseball at all, even the occasional World Series game, you are probably familiar with the concept of the bullpen ace getting a chance for “redemption.” That is, he can blow a game one night and come back the next in the ninth inning and save the day, or even the season. Announcers always say, "he got a chance to redeem himself."

Newspapers may be in the role of bullpen stopper right now, with the current Iran "semi-crisis." In baseball lingo, they should try to "put out the fire" there, after losing one for the home team in Iraq three years ago.

To those who would say that this inflates the power or even role of the press in America today, I would reply: You don't expect the Democrats to keep us out of war, do you? Just as they would not stand up to the president on Iraq for fear of appearing "weak on terror," they would likely be wary of appearing "weak on the Tehran Bomb." Let’s face it: All the Democrats want to do right now is stagger through to November with an unpopular president in office, and hope that, maybe, they can re-take at least one house of Congress -- without having to stick their necks out.

So the media, usually only a middle-reliever or in a mop-up role on this playing field, might have to pitch with the game on the line.

Mitchell's cutesy analogy aside, it is clear that he believes that MSM's role is not one of reporting but one of making policy equal to the Executive and Legislative branches of American Government (and recently, the MSM has declared itself as the only legitimate entity responsible for deciding which information is worthy of declassification).

Ok, Mitchell, so when do we get to elect editors and reporters?

hattip LGF

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Posted by Darleen at 09:02 AM | Comments (5)

April 23, 2006

Why would you let the government set the value of your friendship?

While reviewing a rather hilarious collection of blogging posts offered within the liturgy of "Blog against Heteronomativity" (more later after my sides stop aching) a little tidbit from Maia in New Zealand got my attention, but not in the way I believe she proposed. She is speaking of the hospitalization of her best friend and that "people" didn't get how upset and drained she was in visiting her friend (clue to Maia - find new "people" to hang with). Then she comes up with

Under the Holidays Act you get 3 days' paid bereavement leave on the death of a set of named people, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, spouse and spouses parents. For a friend you can get one day's paid leave if your employer accepts a bereavement.

Our society does not value, or even really recognise friendships, particularly friendships between women.

Sweetcheeks, it isn't society that is not "honoring" your friendship, it is YOU if you let what your employer grants based on reasonable business concerns as the value of YOUR friendship.

My employer only offers bereavement for immediate family (parents, spouse, children). When my beloved uncle passed away I didn't hesitate to use my earned vacation time.

The only one here willing to put a monetary value on their friendship is Maia. She wants others to subsidize her personal relationships, then whines about society's devaluation of female friendships.


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Posted by Darleen at 08:04 AM | Comments (6)

April 21, 2006

Simple question for 'anti-war' advocates

This is not about the mechanics or origins of the war in Iraq. Even a simple "yes" or "no" answer is sufficient.

Do you acknowledge that the people we are fighting are evil?

Posted by Darleen at 07:00 AM | Comments (54)

Moslems pressing worldwide dhimmitization

click for larger imageIt has been said before that civilizations aren't conquerered as much as they commit suicide. As Western civilization has turned on itself and its values in a bulimic fit of "multiculturalism", the Religion of Peace™ steps into the vacuum

Islamic groups and governments are pressing ahead with a campaign to have international organizations take steps, including legal ones, to provide protection for their religion in the wake of the Mohammed cartoon controversy.

In a drive pursued largely away from the headlines, the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC) is promoting the issue at the United Nations and European Union, and having some success.

The executive council of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) this month approved an agenda item entitled "respect for freedom of expression, sacred beliefs, values and religious and cultural symbols."

Anyone laboring under the delusion that such an item would have made the agenda at the urging of Christian Evangelicals? Catholics? Mormons? Jews?
"Your anguish over the publication of insulting cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed is clear and understandable," Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a message read on his behalf at an OIC gathering in Istanbul this month.

While he said all should speak up for freedom of worship and freedom of speech, he added: "We must exercise great sensitivity when dealing with symbols and traditions that are sacred to other people."

Addressing a meeting of European imams in Vienna, Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik of Austria - the current E.U. president - also referred to the cartoons. "Freedoms do have limits that should not be overstepped," she told 300 Muslim religious leaders from across the continent.

At the same gathering, the head of the E.U.'s official anti-racism body bemoaned what she said was a "dangerously high" level of anti-Muslim discrimination in Europe.

Beate Winkler, head of the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia, said E.U. governments should provide time for religious programs on public broadcasters and support mosque construction.

Participant Turfa Bagaghati of the European Network Against Racism -- an E.U.-funded NGO -- told Islam Online it was time Muslims pressed "for their rights, like enacting laws banning aggression on Islam."

E.U. external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner also addressed the Vienna meeting, saying that both freedom of religion and freedom of expression were "non-negotiable."

But she added a qualifier only in the case of freedom of expression, saying "it does come with responsibilities and should be exercised with the necessary sensitivity to others."

These ostensible representatives of Western Culture dedicated to freedom and liberty are happily slipping a noose fashioned by Islamists around all our necks.

Mark this historical fact well, during the so-called "Moslem Golden Age", peace reigned because Christians and Jews were forced to accept their place in moslem society as second class citizens who existed only at the pleasure of their moslem masters. The contemporary Left in Europe and America, authoritarian to the core already, believe their support of Islamists will exempt them from coming under Sharia. They will not be disabused of this faith regardless of evidence.

Europe is withering. At what point will we?


Posted by Darleen at 06:30 AM | Comments (8)

Cable finally fixed!

After several days of intermittent service, we finally got a tech out to the house. After hubby had done much of the trouble shooting of the household wiring, low-and-behold, the official tech confirmed what we already knew. So about an hour of installing a new splitter and connectors where the service enters the house (and a new modem because he noticed ours was the old model) and YEEHAW, we are back on the net!

Posted by Darleen at 06:21 AM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2006

Readin', Rantin' and Writin'

Just started reading this. Charges right out-of-the-gate. Will report soon.

Other than that...

Re: Tel Aviv bombing. Fuck Hamas. Sooner the better.

Re: Retired Generals badmouthing Rumsfeld as "meddling". Uh. Yeah. This is where we forget that the military is run by civilians for a reason?

Re: Tom and Kate have baby. Not that I care but they name her "Suri". Fits right in with Moses, Apple, Moxie, Audio, Scout and all the other celebrities that seem to have mixed up children with kitties and puppies. My German Shepherd was named Misty, my daughter (one of 'em) was named Erin. Little confusion about who one was calling to the table at dinnertime.

Re: Duke Rape Case - you knew that Jesse Jackson just would not be able to resist swoping in and making it About.Jesse. Look's like media whore DA Nifong has more than met his match.

Re: Parts of American culture that can still make me go "huh?" Fall into conversation with co-worker/friend in the ladies room at work about our respective Easters. She's Hispanic and annoyed at her husband for falling into the machismo of her male relatives -- he sits, drinks a six-pack, refuses to help with the kids then tells her to fix him a plate of food like the other wives are doing for their husbands. She fixes him with a glare, "I didn't marry a Mexican" and goes about her business. My reply, "..." She shrugs, "Well, he's kissing my ass today."

Posted by Darleen at 10:23 PM | Comments (2)

April 17, 2006


Easter 2006
Click for really LARGE image (with wider angle)

Erin, Heather, Nik, Sean and Jennifer

Hope you had fun hunting whatever you wished for Sunday.

Posted by Darleen at 08:50 PM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2006

Behind the family pictures

My cousin Charles is as close to an official family geneologist as we'll ever get. He has listed (publically) over 24,000 individuals going back minimally to the 1780 census. Popping over to the site the other day I realize he had again revised and updated it and, yowzer, added a whole crop of photos he must have scanned out of old family albums. This one I snagged:

click for larger image

From left to right, my grandfather David, my greatgrandfather Ulysses and my granduncle Cecil. As close as I can gauge the time of the photo, my grandfather looks about 12-14 years old and he was born in 1903.

I have only vague memories of my paternal grandfather. He died when I was four. I look at this picture and I see a young boy, clear eyed, unsmiling (as most people in vintage photos posed) but with a certain eagerness in his gaze. I marvel that my impression of the photo doesn't match the reality of the few stories I have of the man he would turn out to be.

He wasn't always a nice man. Suffice it to say that my father moved out on his own and supported himself at age 15.

So I find myself one of mixed feelings. I printed out this pic on photo paper and I'm wondering how my father would react if I gave this to him tomorrow. Has even enough time passed that it would appreciated as just a momento of ages gone by? A historical image of a line of people who just happened to pass on some of their DNA to one's own existence?

Or should I just put it into the family album I create to leave my own children, who have no closer relationship to such a distant relative than to people in their history books?

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, but those thousand words may lie.

Posted by Darleen at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)


I'm posting this using my hubby's Treo. Our broadband has gone bye-bye with the provider's weekend tech clueless on why. I'm glad I can at least post this, but using hunt-n-peck with a stylus is frustrating.


Hope you all have a wonderfull Easter weekend! I'd love to hear of any plans and/or adventures.

Posted by Darleen at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)

April 14, 2006

Abortion - Free speech for me, not for thee

So, when a college campus Pro-choice group erects a display to protest the abortion ban legislation in South Dakota with the permission of the college administration, what should happen to a pro-life professor who encourages her like-minded students to destroy the display? What if she defended the actions by saying equating abortion to the Holocaust and saying:

[destroying the display] was similar to citizens taking down Nazi displays on Fountain Square, she said.

"Any violence perpetrated against that silly display was minor compared to how I felt when I saw it. Some of my students felt the same way, just outraged," Jacobsen said.

Pretty outregeous, no matter HOW you feel about the abortion debate.


Hold that. Flip the circumstance of the scenario above and you have what really happened

A professor at Northern Kentucky University said she invited students in one of her classes to destroy an anti-abortion display on campus Wednesday evening.

NKU police are investigating the incident, in which 400 crosses were removed from the ground near University Center and thrown in trash cans. The crosses, meant to represent a cemetery for aborted fetuses, had been temporarily erected last weekend by a student Right to Life group with permission from NKU officials.

Sally Jacobsen, a longtime professor in NKU's literature and language department, said the display was dismantled by about nine students in one of her graduate-level classes.

"I did, outside of class during the break, invite students to express their freedom-of-speech rights to destroy the display if they wished to," Jacobsen said.

A college professor who believes her feelings trumps the rights of others does not belong on any American college campus. Some maddrassa in dar ul Islam, maybe, but not in America.

hattip to Michelle Malkin - and I'd add that Michelle and others condemned the destruction of crosses that Mommy Sheehan's ilk had erected when she was posturing in Crawford.


Posted by Darleen at 06:27 AM | Comments (17)

April 11, 2006

The Politics of Rape - rant warning

Rape happens for a number of reasons, but the abject violation of the victim remains. It is the penultimate act of dismissing and erasing the humanity of the victim. Invading armies did this as an act to show contempt of their enemies. Serial rapists of strangers usually do it with a sense of rage towards a person who is the object of that rage with the victim as the stand-in. Some rapes are an expression of power and domination, as what happens in prison communities.

Rape is a heinous act that engenders an immediate visceral reaction in the vast majority of decent people. It is physical assault with the added dimensions of deep psychological violation.

What rape is NOT, or what it should NOT be is a FUCKING BANNER OF ONE'S POLITICS.

Let me make myself clear. I wrote my post on the Duke affair because I've found much of the coverage salacious and sensational. Then I find a perfect example of irony of someone decrying rush to judgment based on a hatred of "the Other" while engaging in the exact same thing vis a vis the Duke Lacrosse team members under suspicion of rape. Hell bells, no charges have even been filed!

Not that just the blogsphere has been nattering about conspiracy theories about privileged "white boys", playing the racist and misogynist cards for all their worth, but Carl Goss in my comments points to a particularly smarmy transcript from CNN's Nancy Grace aired on March 31:

GRACE: OK, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Let`s go out to Dave Foley, defense attorney. Don`t move, Kevin Miller! David Foley, if they`re innocent, why not cooperate? Why stall? Why did they have to have a court order for 46 or 47 lacrosse members to give DNA? It`s very simple. You take something that looks like a Q-tip. You swab the inside of your mouth. It`s nothing more than like a doctor looking for a sore throat. Why? Why wouldn`t they give their DNA? Let`s think about it, Dave Foley! Give me your best shot.

DAVE FOLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, Nancy, in terms of this, we`re dealing with young people, OK, who are not necessarily familiar with the law, number one. So they need to have their legal rights...

GRACE: You`re kidding, right?

FOLEY: ... protected...

GRACE: You`re -- you`re kidding?

FOLEY: No, I`m not kidding.

GRACE: Because, you know, at age 17, you know where my father was? He was on a fighter ship halfway around the world, representing his country, about to die for his country. You know what? Don`t talk to me about how young they are, all right?

FOLEY: Well, they`re...

GRACE: These are the elite members...

FOLEY: ... lacrosse players at Duke.

GRACE: ... of the lacrosse team.

FOLEY: They`re not exactly doing what your father did. They`re not...

GRACE: Yes, they`re older than that! They`re older than that!


GRACE: You know what, David Foley? Go ahead. I got you. I got you on this one, all right? And when it comes out, if one of these young men - - if -- is the perpetrator, that jury will know they only gave their DNA pursuant to court order.

Ok. Grace is Jerry Springer in drag and sensationalism is her forte, but outside of the creepizoid vibes she sends, laser-like, through several pounds of pancake makeup and hair lacquer, as a former prosecuter she knows better in regards to someone exercising their CONSTITUTIONAL rights.

Listen up and listen well. If the police came to me and I knew they had suspicion I committed some crime, even as I was totally innocent of it I would never voluntarily talk to them without an attorney. Period. You shouldn't either. That's your right and they can NOT hold it against you.

I work in a DA office. I have great respect for our judicial system and for the vast majority of good, honest cops.

And there is no fucking way I'd voluntarily allow them to search my home, car or answer questions from them without legal counsel.

And when Nifong is publically imitating Nancy Grace implying Duke guilt because of "noncooperation", even USC Law Professor Erwin Chemerinsky (very Left) expressed shock at such unprofessionalism (on Hugh Hewitt's show this date). For some, I suppose, that would qualify Chemerinsky as an ignorant Judgy McJudgerson

You see, I don't have any POLITICAL or IDEOLOGICAL stake in Rape. I come at it from the POV as someone who works within the judicial system. Maybe I'm a little jaded after close to eight years of processing cases, watching the petty political manueverings and grasps for power of attorneys and reading uncounted police reports.

For me, evidence counts. And only evidence. No where in my previous post did I say the victim was lying or should be up on charges herself. No where did I say a rape hadn't occured. But if we take the court-ordered tests at face value, and Nifong has not disputed what has been reported, no DNA linking any of the 46 Duke Players to the victim was found ON her, IN her or ON any of her THINGS. She, indeed, may be a victim of rape and assault. But not by the players.

How convenient that suddenly there is all this "let's wait until all the evidence comes in" or "well, it's still a good example of gang rape" from some of the same people who couldn't wait for the sentencing of these players they had already personally convicted.

Piny may have had it partly right, some people DO feel they have to make "The Other" suffer to feel real.

And the POLITICS of this particular case will assure that no one gets out of it unscathed by those who will use either the players or the victim as mere pawns in their own narratives.

How fucking pitiful.

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Posted by Darleen at 09:00 PM | Comments (9)

April 10, 2006

Duke 'rapists' are like white racists who lynched blacks

...or so Piny gratuitously conflates at the end of an otherwise powerful post regarding the history of lynching interspersed with writings from James Baldwin.

Godwin's Law needs some corollaries.

FURTHER, for all the posts about the Duke lacrosse team being, without any question, rapists turns out to be without merit

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — DNA testing failed to connect any members of the Duke University lacrosse team to the alleged rape of a stripper, attorneys for the athletes said Monday.

Citing DNA test results delivered by the state crime lab to police and prosecutors a few hours earlier, the attorneys said the test results prove their clients did not sexually assault and beat a stripper hired to perform at a March 13 team party.

No charges have been filed in the case.

"No DNA material from any young man was present on the body of this complaining woman," said defense attorney Wade Smith.

I pointed this breaking fact out to piny, of course. Doesn't matter. Doesn't fit the narrative.

Now, Duke University certainly has a case to suspend merely on the behavior of these young males of privilege who acted indecently in going to a home and hiring strippers, plus the one real sicko sending outregeous emails about "skinning" ...

but RAPE they didn't do.

I will be interested to see the reaction from those who were quick to engage in a little cyber-mob-justice before the evidence came in.

Piny says about lynching

That basic idea–that those people need to suffer, that we survive as ourselves because we make them suffer–hasn’t left us. It’s why people were squeamish about bringing Gwen Araujo’s killers to justice. It rose up in the discussions on HR 4437 and the Duke rape case.
Ironic, isn't it?

Posted by Darleen at 05:55 PM | Comments (13)

'The Nation-state is a spent force'

Luke MassieI'm listening right now to a spokeshole for one of the organizing groups of the pro-illegal alien demonstrations, Luke Massie of By Any Means Necessary on Michael Medved who is being quite open in his group's aims. First, this is the obfuscating rheoric on BAMN's site:

The demonstrations also say, No More! No more to racist disrespect! No more to marginalization! We demand full rights and equality for all immigrants. We demand to be treated as human beings, as brothers and sisters, and we accept no less.
Luke clearly defined what that means in his interview ...

OBLITERATION of any distinction between legal and illegal immigrants. Luke is quite adament that the United States has no right to restrict or regulate immigration or US borders. He says any restriction based on whether a person was born in the US or in Mexico is racist. As I quote him in the title to this point, he says the "nation-state" is irrelevant. He actually believes that since America has such an international impact, that the people of the WORLD should have a legal say in how the US is run. He blatantly advocates that the sovereinty of the USA should go away.

THIS is the face of the so-called "new civil rights movement." Neo-Stalinism.

Posted by Darleen at 12:31 PM | Comments (3)

More evidence of the failure of Publik Skools

and clueless parents ... Vouchers Please

Upper St. Clair fourth-grader Zoe Hinkle, 10, thinks her mini-skirt is plenty long enough. She and her friends plan let to school Principal Claire Miller know as much when they stage a protest in the Streams Elementary School parking lot after classes let out today.

The question pits fashion against acceptable standards, and the answers aren't always easy.

Fashion standards? A FOURTH GRADER????
Last fall, Miller told Zoe that her skirt was too short, and in recent weeks has been telling the girl's friends the same, the grade-schooler said. Skirts should not be higher than the knees, the girls were told. To show their distaste for the policy, they plan to brandish homemade signs outside after school.
Where are the parents? What responsible ADULT mother or father would allow their 10 year old to defy a school because she wants to wear a mini-skirt?

Oh. Well... this kind:

Zoe's mother, Leslie Hinkle, thinks the fuss over her daughter's attire goes too far.

"She's only 10. It's not like she's 15 going into school wearing low-cut shorts and a tank top," Leslie Hinkle said.

Then stop allowing your pre-pubscent girl go to school dressed as IF she were a 15 y/o ho.


Media and the market are sexualizing children at younger ages, Duquesne University psychology professor Anita LaLumere said. Girls generally become interested in boys at 12, and boys start looking at girls around 14, she said.

"There's an emphasis on girls to attract the opposite sex -- that they should be cute and sexy," LaLumere said. "It does matter for discipline and decorum. Kids are growing up with fewer standards today. It's teaching acceptable public behavior.

STOP dressing little girls as if they were auditioning to appear on a rap video. If the school sends your daughter home for inappropriate clothing, then don't allow your daughter to wear it to school ever again.

Better yet. Get together with other parents and demand a uniform for your school.

Better YET: Don't have kids if you can't handle parenting.

Vouchers please NOW.

Posted by Darleen at 11:53 AM | Comments (2)

Democrats salute the Red, White and Blue Green

Click for larger image. This photo and others here

Gotta love the graphic of Texas and Mexico as one country. Hmmm... promoting illegal voting in the US? Promoting Reconquista?


Do I get to question their patriotism now?


hattip Kim at Wizbang

Posted by Darleen at 09:42 AM | Comments (10)

April 09, 2006

Things that chap my ass

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, could the blogsphere Lefties do even the tiniest bit of thinking before engaging in a diarrheal orgy of Bush bashing over the arrest of Brian Doyle?

I especially love the "Doyle is just another instance of Republican Corruption" dribblings because it again demonstrates that such Lefties are into feelings not facts.

Let me dispense right now with the one aspect of this whole thing that really annoys the shit out of me ... hey, IDIOTARIAN? Just how were Doyle's direct superiors - let alone GW himself - supposed to know of Doyle's "habits" prior to the sting? Background check, you say?

Um. No.

I've been through background checks. Hell, when my ex worked at Northrop in the mid-80's on the stealth bomber project we went through an extensive security clearance check.

None of which would have picked up ANYTHING about pedophilia, ephebophilia or even child porn if there was no arrest record of it.

You know how such cases actually come to the attention of the authorities? Either through sting operations as was in this case, or by accident. I've processed loads of child porn cases ... usually someone stumbles across the perp's stash and turns them in. Might be a girlfriend who opens the wrong file on the perps computer, might be a computer tech repairing the perp's computer who discovers "hidden" files, might be a company computer tech finding hidden files on an office computer where the perp works.

Background checks don't include coming into the subject's home and rifling through mail, books or personal computer files. Even indepth security clearances, which include interviewing neighbors, are not going to raise any flags if the person has been circumspect.

Let's face reality here. These perps come from all walks of life - teachers, doctors, judges ... even UN weapons inspectors. They are usually exceedingly clever in compartmentalizing their lives and keeping the criminal activity under tight wraps.

More and more law enforcement agencies are doing these kind of sting operations. Expect more arrests of adults trolling for minors for sex and don't be surprised at just who gets netted in the process.

Sexual perversion is not a partisan issue. Get.over.it.


Posted by Darleen at 08:14 AM | Comments (5)

Earth to Hamas -- If I stop giving you MY money, Judanhass cretins,

it does not constitute blackmail

Jerusalem -- The Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, called a cutoff in foreign aid blackmail on Saturday and said his government would not bow to international pressure and recognize Israel.

"The attempts to strangle the government have one aim," Haniyeh told reporters in Gaza City. "They will not extract political concessions from us that will harm the rights of the Palestinian (sic) people. [...]

On Friday, the United States and the European Union, the largest donor to the Palestinian Authority, announced that they were suspending all financial aid to the new Hamas-led government because they regard the Islamic fundamentalist party as a terrorist organization.

Just so the we are all on the same page here, Hamas is a terrorist organization and they are quite explicit in their goals. So would the Left Cult members who make common cause with Islamists due to the fundamental anti-Americanism, anti-Israelisemitism in both groups please stand down your usual memes.

Hamas is clear that Israel and Jews have no right to exist. We have no obligation to funnel American tax dollars to them.


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Posted by Darleen at 07:55 AM | Comments (1)

April 07, 2006

Illegal alien debate - respect and disrespect for Rule of Law, and costs to America beyond the tangibles

As the compromise between Senate and House on the bill ostensibly "handling" illegal immigration collapses, I want to revisit some of the arguments in this debate which I believe have a tendency to downplay the seriousness of illegal immigration.

Little Miss Attila points me to Steve Verdon who posits that illegal aliens are "no big deal" when their tangible cost to the USA is a mere fraction (.64% if we accept his figures) of the GDP. While I can accept his evaluation on the large scale, Steve ventures into bad faith dismissal of those that vigorously opposed illegal immigration as xenophobes.

In short, I see all this handwringing about the U.S. becoming part of Mexico as nothing more than misplaced priorities by people who seem deathly afraid of people who are different than them. The response to the charge of racism is often, “It isn’t racism! We just oppose illegal immigration. And the costs are real.” Sure the costs are real, but they are much smaller when compared to other issues such as Medicare funding. And sure illegal immigration isn’t a good thing, but instead suggest a guest worker program (i.e. make those illegal immigrants legla) and you still get the howling. So both objections, IMO, while technically true are just rhetoric to deflect criticism and hide the rather disquieting aspects of the illegal immigration movement.
Deliberately or not, Steve refuses to realize the .64% is not evenly distributed across the country. While Beaut, Montana businesses hire local teens, Southern California and the border areas of Arizona, Texas and New Mexico deal with huge numbers of workers willing to work under the table for cash. The costs to those areas, measured in local expenditures for schools, medical care, police enforcement, code enforcement, prices of housing will far outstrip the .64% that considers the country as a whole.

Recent illegals are coming in from tiny towns in Mexico where vaccinations and normative medical care is almost unknown. In Southern California we've experienced an uptick in TB and this year seeing a lot more whooping cough in ER's.

Whooping cough isn't reflected in Steve's .64% but it is a real cost to the people who have to deal with it.

I wonder if Steve realizes that in the California prison system we house approximately 15,000 illegal aliens? The costs associated with those 15,000 ($465 million/year) could easily fund a new public college.

There's also the intangibles that don't figure in Steve's .64%. Established, legal and several generational Hispanic families are assimilated into the larger American culture. They proudly hold and celebrate their cultural heritage (as do Italians, Irish or Germans). However we have witnessed in the last five to ten years a growing apartheid where newer illegals who have no stake or desire in being American isolate themselves while they exploit the community as hard and fast as they can.

I can't necessarily blame even these illegals for coming here. An almost hopelessly corrupt and arrogant Mexican government has practically driven them over the border in order to have an ever increasing cash flow back into their pockets. This is where I hold American employers of illegals much more culpable in the equation.

I will confess that some of my passion on this subject is driven by what I have grown up with and what I witness working within the judicial system. Add to that what my daughter in emergency medical services in an area with a large percentage of illegals shares with me.

Obviously Ronald Reagan's "one time amnesty" as a solution for illegals in the mid-80's hasn't worked. Mexicans cross the border with impunity while people here legally and working to have their own families work through the Byzantine immigration process are watching with growing anger the left-wing organized pro-illegal immigration marches. While AG believes our system is saying "Fuck you" to illegals who want to be legal, it is also the illegals saying "Sucker" to those who take the trouble to immigrate legally.

The "Jobs Americans won't do" canard is the most insulting of all. It's an excuse for employers exploiting desperate people.

Leonel Santos was working in Virginia when a New Orleans roofing contractor he knew from his hometown of San Francisco del Mezquital, in Mexico's Durango state, called. The contractor sent a car that picked up Santos and seven other workers in Virginia and North Carolina and brought them to New Orleans.

"We were packed like matchsticks," Santos said.

The group slept in a park for a month, showered with hoses and used bushes as toilets. By day they put blue tarps on roofs for a FEMA subcontractor.

"We ate once a day," Santos said. "We'd buy canned food from a store that had a few things for sale."

We have a choice to keep the US a first-world country or allow third-world enclaves while turning a blind eye to the longterm costs. :::cough::: Paris ghettos :::cough::::

An effective immigration policy must hinge on the successful completion of two points BEFORE even considering a "guest worker" program.

1 - Secure the borders.
2 - Target employers with criminal prosecution (to include jail, fines or forfeiture of the business).

If employers realize it is they, not their desperate employees that will suffer, cash jobs "no questions asked" will dry up.

When the Mexican government cannot shove their poor over the border, even as they protect their own, when they cannot count on a river of American cash flowing into their pockets, maybe Mexico, a country rich in resources and poor due to a culture of corruption, will change.

What do we "do" about the 11 million already in the US? Nothing at the present. When jobs are no longer available, many (those here less than five years) will leave. Then we can work on a way to have the rest, those that are here because they DO want to become American and have rejected the racist sentiments of La Raza, become American citizens.


Posted by Darleen at 06:25 AM | Comments (10)

April 05, 2006

Best Quote of the Week -- DRINK WARNING....

Beth is a thing of awe when she's on a tear. She takes on the latest Run Away Generation idiocy at Oceanside School District which has

Beginning Monday, the Oceanside Unified School District is banning all flags and patriotic clothing.
The irrepressible Beth heats up and fires back in the best scorched-earth fashion:
Here’s an idea: if you can’t display a flag, why not roll it up and snap these fucktards in the face with it? I’ve got all kinds of “disruptive” ideas for them.
If I were a parent with kids in those schools, they'd be wearing blue jeans, red tanks and white overshirts. Just LET the asshole admin try to ban even the COLORS of red/white/blue.

Posted by Darleen at 08:52 PM | Comments (1)

Americans - The Run Away Generation?

The phone rings in the early evening, reminding me yet again we are in an election year. The rhetoric heats up as Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi pretend to present a plan that Democrats are better on National Defense. Marxist ANSWER, while still organizing the anti-American "anti-war" demonstrations also has their fingers on the organized anti-American "pro-illegal immigrant" demonstrations/May 1st strike. Patriotism, at least American patriotism, is a dirty word at middle and high schools banning flags or any show of American patriotism on school property as "provocative."

Such peace at all costs softness is not lost on the radical ideology that we have been struggling against for much longer than 9/11/01. Specifically, in totalitarian Iran, Hassan Abbasi is delighted that America's true character of cowardice will soon make a reappearance.

For the past several weeks Mr. Abbasi has been addressing crowds of Guard and Baseej Mustadafin (Mobilization of the Dispossessed) officers in Tehran with a simple theme: The U.S. does not have the stomach for a long conflict and will soon revert to its traditional policy of "running away," leaving Afghanistan and Iraq, indeed the whole of the Middle East, to be reshaped by Iran and its regional allies.

To hear Mr. Abbasi tell it the entire recent history of the U.S. could be narrated with the help of the image of "the last helicopter." It was that image in Saigon that concluded the Vietnam War under Gerald Ford. Jimmy Carter had five helicopters fleeing from the Iranian desert, leaving behind the charred corpses of eight American soldiers. Under Ronald Reagan the helicopters carried the bodies of 241 Marines murdered in their sleep in a Hezbollah suicide attack. Under the first President Bush, the helicopter flew from Safwan, in southern Iraq, with Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf aboard, leaving behind Saddam Hussein's generals, who could not believe why they had been allowed live to fight their domestic foes, and America, another day. Bill Clinton's helicopter was a Black Hawk, downed in Mogadishu and delivering 16 American soldiers into the hands of a murderous crowd.

According to this theory, President George W. Bush is an "aberration," a leader out of sync with his nation's character and no more than a brief nightmare for those who oppose the creation of an "American Middle East." Messrs. Abbasi and Ahmadinejad have concluded that there will be no helicopter as long as George W. Bush is in the White House. But they believe that whoever succeeds him, Democrat or Republican, will revive the helicopter image to extricate the U.S. from a complex situation that few Americans appear to understand.

Is Abbasi right? Will we soon return to 9/10/01 where we would rather worry about ordering that extra shot of espresso in our morning coffee or which movie we'll attend that weekend then worrying about over there? Have we grown so European in our elitism/nihilism that undiluted love and pride in our nation is something to snicker or roll our eyes about?

As Iran sets it sights on nuclear weapons with accompanying pronoucements that Israel and Jews have no right to exist, why do so many Americans shrug and think we aren't on the Dar ul Islam radar? The Iranian President Theocratic Dictator Ahmadinejad believes:

the U.S. is a "sunset" (ofuli) power while Iran is a sunrise (tolu'ee) one and, once Mr. Bush is gone, a future president would admit defeat and order a retreat as all of Mr. Bush's predecessors have done since Jimmy Carter.
YOU might not survive to live under the Islamic Republic of America, but Islamists believe your children or grandchildren will.

Is that the future you want to bequeath them?

A truer movie quote has rarely been written:

You can do what's right, or what's easy.

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Posted by Darleen at 12:30 PM | Comments (13)

April 03, 2006

Mammoth succeeds over beaver

The weekend box office receipts underline my earlier post about family films as Ice Age: The Meltdown racked in $70.5 million dollars, and Sharon what WAS she thinking Stoned's Basic Instinct 2 couldn't even subpoena enough people to suffer through it.

But hell's bells, do NOT think the movie was badly made or roundly thrashed by the critics...

The movie failed because [wait for it, wait for it] It's ALL GW Bush's fault!

Paul Verhoeven, director of the first "Basic Instinct" (which scored $353 million worldwide) as well as the widely ridiculed "Showgirls" (now regarded as something of a camp classic), attributes the genre's demise to the current American political climate.

"Anything that is erotic has been banned in the United States," said the Dutch native. "Look at the people at the top (of the government). We are living under a government that is constantly hammering out Christian values. And Christianity and sex have never been good friends."

Well, another thing we can be sure of. Paulie has taken the victimhood lessons to heart and he reads a lot of Pandagon.net.

Posted by Darleen at 12:40 PM | Comments (2)

Dhimmitizing--not just for Islam anymore

The Danish cartoon affair is one in which you realize, after Borders refuses to carry a magazine and New York University holds a forum on the cartoons while censoring any display of the cartoons ...

New York University administrators on March 29 banned the display of cartoons satirizing the Muslim prophet Mohammed but did so during a forum held to discuss the controversy over the cartoons. As a result, the president of a free speech advocacy group calls the decision to censor the cartoons "one of the most frustrating" arguments he has ever heard.

Leaders of the university's Objectivist Club organized the forum to discuss the Danish cartoons that had depicted Mohammed, for example, with a fuse in his turban. The cartoons offended Muslims because Islam forbids any depictions of the prophet, and deadly protests ensued in Europe and all over the Arab world.

... that what we are really witnessing is the capitulation to bullies. Would/does Borders refuse to carry an art book with Piss Christ in it?

Borders, NYU and the rest of the Western champions of Free Speech are, nevertheless, eager to abandon their principles in the face of the offended in order to keep the status quo. Oh, they have no problem being brave in the face of a tersely worded letter. But facing offended moslems...wellll...

And don't think this knocking-knees reaction to intimidation is just limited to threatening moslems, now we have schools going out of their way to punish students who dare wave the American flag because it offends kids who demonstrate their first allegiance is to Mexico.

This is not a "race" thing, either, but an ideological one:

Also on Friday, 17-year old David Guzman of Victorville left his job at the Victor Valley Mall and discovered all his patriotic flags and ribbons once proudly displayed on his car were stolen and the car’s antennae was broken in half where a small U.S. flag hung just hours earlier.

“I don’t know who did it or why. But I’ve had them on my car since 9/11 and it wasn’t until now that anyone messed with them. I’m Mexican. All of this is embarrassing to me and my family,” Guzman said of the nationwide protests. “I don’t want people looking at me or my sister like we’re one of those idiots protesting for a getout-of-jail-free card.”

Guzman said many in his family have reached the boiling point and he would march in a pro-HR 4377 protest if one were organized in a legal manner.

“I think there’s a lot of us who just want to be able to have a voice, too,” Guzman said. “These protesters don’t speak for all Mexicans. I want people to understand that.”

There is a huge difference between celebrating one's familial roots and actively aggitating in support of a foreign [wildly corrupt] government.

"Mulitculturism" is the inculcation of the ideology of the willing dhimmi.

Posted by Darleen at 07:12 AM | Comments (0)

April 02, 2006

Harry Potter and 2005

Picked up the Goblet of Fire DVD and watched it Saturday realizing that in the whole year of 2005 the films I enjoyed the most were family films. No lame remake of an old, lamer tv show. No paying ten bucks to be insulted for the crime of being proudly American.

I went to be entertained with something different and uplifting. Both Potter and Narnia satisfied like a dinner of pot roast with mashed potatoes, gravy and plenty of steamed veggies.

Hello? Hollywood? Are you listening?

Posted by Darleen at 12:30 AM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2006

In memory and for the future ...

Christmas 1964
click for larger image

This picture was taken at Christmas Time, 1964, in the lobby of The Smoke House restaurant. The adults, left to right are my Uncle Bob Jr., Aunt Mary Anne, Grandma Mildred, Grandpa Bob Sr., Mom and Dad. The kids are (left) me, my sister Val (with eyes closed), cousin Kathie and, front and center cousin, Debbie. Kathie and I are 10 years old, Val and Debbie are 7. Christmas was a family holiday that my grandparents loved to celebrate the whole month, with dinners and visiting.

Well, they did that with birthdays, too.

A lot of memories flood back with that picture, but tonight I want to talk briefly of the sweet little girl in the middle. Debbie of the soft blonde hair and gentle smile.

A little less than three years after this picture was taken, she was dead.

Debbie had Cystic Fibrosis. I knew the name of the disease. I knew my cousin was sick enough to sleep each night with in an oxygen tent, to take handfulls of pills each day and to have to spend time breathing on this large machine in her bedroom. But the idea of death was something that just didn't occur to me. Her younger sister, Terry, had died of CF 5 years earlier at 18 mos of age.

The specter of CF was to haunt me through my 4 pregnancies, during a time when prenatal genetic testing for CF was unknown. CF had been nowhere in the known family medical history until Debbie and hasn't shown up since. I had tried to emotionally prepare myself for at least the possibility of it appearing.

For those parents who have no inkling of even a possibility, a diagnosis of CF can be heartwrenching. Scary beyond words.

Mieke brings us the story of her best friend, Elise's, infant daughter, Adelaide, who has been diagnosed with CF. On one hand, it was an actual answer to the anxiousness borne of not knowing what was wrong with their baby. On the other, the devestation of realizing the challenges of the future with coping with such a disease.

Fortunately, the past 40 years has seen such strides in the treatment of CF that life expectancy has increased from age 12 to age 35.

And here is where I'm going to ask your help again. Mieke is going to walk for Cystic Fibrosis and she's asking for sponsors.

I've already donated -- in memory of my cousins. Would you please do the same?


Posted by Darleen at 09:12 PM | Comments (2)